Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Epidemic of Obesity in America

A new report just released has proven that obesity rates in 2011 have increased in 16 states. The report is titled F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2011, and is a joint project of the Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). According to the website (click here) the final state by state breakdown of obesity is as follows:


Note: 1 = Highest rate of adult obesity, 51 = lowest rate of adult obesity. Rankings are based on combining three years of data (2008-2010) from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to "stabilize" data for comparison purposes. This methodology, recommended by the CDC, compensates for any potential anomalies or usual changes due to the specific sample in any given year in any given state. States with statistically significant (p<0.05) increases for one year are noted with an asterisk (*), states with statistically significant increases for two years in a row are noted with two asterisks (**), states with statistically significant increases for three years in a row are noted with three asterisks (***). Additional information about methodologies and confidence intervals is available in the report. Individuals with a body mass index (BMI) (a calculation based on weight and height ratios) of 30 or higher are considered obese.

1. Mississippi (34.4%); 2. Alabama (32.3%); 3. West Virginia* (32.2%); 4. Tennessee (31.9%); 5. Louisiana (31.6%); 6. Kentucky** (31.5%); 7. Oklahoma** (31.4%); 8. South Carolina* (30.9%); 9. Arkansas (30.6%); 10. Michigan* (30.5%); 11. Missouri* (30.3%); 12. Texas** (30.1%); 13. Ohio (29.6%); 14. North Carolina (29.4%); 15. Indiana* (29.1%); 16. Kansas** (29.0%); 17. (tie) Georgia (28.7%); and South Dakota (28.7%); 19. Pennsylvania (28.5%); 20. Iowa (28.1%); 21. (tie) Delaware (28.0%); and North Dakota (28.0%); 23. Illinois** (27.7%); 24. Nebraska (27.6%); 25. Wisconsin (27.4%); 26. Maryland (27.1%); 27. Maine** (26.5%); 28. Washington (26.4%); 29. Florida** (26.1%); 30. (tie) Alaska (25.9%); and Virginia (25.9%); 32. Idaho (25.7%); 33. (tie) New Hampshire (25.6%); and New Mexico (25.6%); 35. (tie) Arizona (25.4%); Oregon (25.4%); and Wyoming (25.4%); 38. Minnesota (25.3%); 39. Nevada (25.0%); 40. California (24.8%); 41. New York (24.7%); 42. Rhode Island** (24.3%); 43. New Jersey (24.1%); 44. Montana (23.8%); 45. Vermont** (23.5%); 46. Utah (23.4%); 47. Hawaii (23.1%); 48. Massachusetts** (22.3%); 49. Connecticut (21.8%); 50. District of Columbia (21.7%); 51. Colorado* (19.8%).

Obesity is a chronic disease, like diabetes or cancer, that results from genetic and lifestyle factors. Our healthcare system, dominated by HMO's, PPO's, and an-out-of-date model of care for chronic disease is failing. We are paying a price as a society for disrupting our ancient diets and lifestyles. Obesity is more complicated than too many calories in, too few out. Our food has been modified, processed and altered so that it is rich with calories but scarce in nutrients. By eating high calorie, low nutrient foods our bodies are deprived of the necessary vitamins and minerals required for health.

Our bodies are designed to store excess calories in times of feast to carry us over during times of famine. Yet, the American diet and lifestyle will lead to metabolic syndrome and obesity because the food is depleted of life-giving nutrients and our lifestyle is now very stationary. This study reinforces the seriousness of the obesity issue. It is a wake up call for all of us to focus on healthy eating, healthy exercise, and healthy lifestyle habits like regular visits to your chiropractor. By keeping your spine and body aligned and pain-free, you are more likely to exercise, feel happy, and simply enjoy life - and people who enjoy life and are genuinely happy take much better care of themselves than those who don't!

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